LIMITS OF CONFIDENTIALITY
Contents of all therapy sessions are considered to be confidential. Both verbal information and written records about a client cannot be shared with another party without the written consent of the client or the client’s legal guardian/parent. Noted exceptions are as follows:
Duty to Warn and Protect
When a client discloses intentions or a plan to harm another person or property, the mental health professional is required to warn the intended victim and report this information to legal authorities. In cases in which the client discloses or implies a plan for suicide or serious self-harm, the health care professional is required to take the necessary steps to keep the client safe which may include notifying legal authorities and/or hospitalization. The health professional may, though it is not mandatory, make reasonable attempts to notify the family or the caretaker of the client, as long as in doing so, there would be no additional or potential harm to the client.
Abuse of Children and Vulnerable Adults
If a client states or suggests that he or she is abusing a child (or vulnerable adult) or has recently abused a child (or vulnerable adult), or a child (or vulnerable adult) is in danger of abuse, the mental health professional is a mandated reporter and is therefore required by law to report this information to the appropriate social service and/or legal authorities.
Prenatal Exposure to Controlled Substances
Mental Health care professionals are required to report admitted prenatal exposure to controlled substances that are potentially harmful.
Parents or legal guardians of non-emancipated minor clients have the right to access the clients’ records.
Insurance Providers (when applicable)
Insurance companies and other third-party payers are given information that they request regarding services to clients.
Information that may be requested includes, but is not limited to: types of service, dates/times of service, diagnosis, treatment plan, description of impairment, progress of therapy, case notes, and summaries.
The law protects the relationship between a client and a psychotherapist, and information cannot be disclosed without written permission.
- Suspected child abuse or dependant adult or elder abuse, for which I am required by law to report this to the appropriate authorities immediately.
- If a patient threatens serious bodily harm or death to a specific and identifiable individual or group of persons, I must notify the police and inform the intended victim. Hospitalization may be necessary.
- If a patient intends to harm himself or herself, I will make every effort to enlist their cooperation in ensuring their safety. If they do not cooperate, I will take further measures without their permission that are provided to me by law in order to ensure their safety.